Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic is a classic French dish. This Paleo version of the recipe stands out in my mind as one of the all time biggest hits with my husband. The first time he tried it he could not stop remarking, in between bites, on how good it was. Even if garlic is not your favorite ingredient do not let this recipe scare you off. The cooking process involves boiling, frying and simmering the garlic which leaves the cloves very mildly pungent, sweet and tender. In fact, they practically disintegrate by the end of the cooking process leaving the sauce with a wonderfully rich flavor. The dish works well with “Cauliflower Rice”. I discovered that adding some of the resulting sauce to the cauliflower made it especially good. One bonus with these two dishes is you can make both of them ahead of time and reheat before serving. This is a simplified, crock pot and Paleo version of the classic Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic based on one by Ina Garten sans the butter, cream and flour.


  • 3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
  • 2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, cut into eighths
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fat (ghee, lard, tallow, etc…)
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)
  1. Separate the cloves of garlic (don’t peel them) and drop them in a pot of boiling water for about 60-90 seconds. Strain the garlic out, allow to cool slightly and then peel. Set aside.
  2. Dry the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the 3 tablespoons of fat in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. When a batch is done, transfer to a large crock pot and continue the process until all the chicken is browned.
  4. Add all the garlic to the pot containing the fat. Lower the heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, turning the garlic, until evenly cooked and browned.
  5. Add the Cognac and white wine and return to a boil, scraping any of the browned pieces off the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add the thyme leaves and pour the entire pan of garlic and liquid over the chicken in the crock pot.
  7. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, remove the chicken from the crock pot to a large serving platter. Taste the sauce at this point and add in some Celtic Sea Salt (or table salt) and pepper to taste. If the sauce is not thick enough for your preference I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder at this point. Arrowroot tends to lose its ability to thicken if cooked. But adding it at the end, after the sauce has cooled down, seems to work well. Personally, I thought the sauce was fine without being thickened. Especially because I used some of it to flavor the “Cauliflower Rice” dish that I served with the chicken.
Alternate Instructions
If you want to make this dish all in one evening and serve it for dinner, rather than transferring the chicken to a crock pot,
  1. Place the chicken on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
  2. Once all the chicken is cooked and the sauce is prepared add the chicken back into the large pot or Dutch oven and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes until the chicken is done.
  3. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and cook the sauce down to your preferred consistency and season to taste. You can use an immersion blender to purée the garlic which will thicken the sauce. If you prefer an even thicker sauce it would be at this point the arrowroot could be added before pouring it over the chicken.
Bon appetit mon cavepeople!
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